Thursday, 7 July 2011

Albet i Noya – Organic Wines from Penedès

Spain's first organic wines come from here, the Penedès area, or the house Albet i Noya to be more precise. It was an order from a Danish customer in the late 70's which made the owners decide to get to grips with organic agriculture, and now all of their 76 hectares are dedicated to this. The difference compared with the traditional method is that you must not to use chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Sulphur dioxide is allowed, but the maximum amount which can be used in an organic wine is set to half of normal. At Albet i Noya they use even less.

The winehouse does produce a few reds, but since we are in Penedès green grapes dominate, above all the varieties xarel·lo, parellada and macabeu, all three typically used for cava. Additionally, they run experiment to try to rediscover of some of the grapes which were grown here before, in the late 19th century, the phylloxera plague temporarily knocked out the whole European wine industry.

For those who want to discover the viticulture of Penedès, I believe that a first visit to one of the internationally known brands (Torres, Cordoníu or Frexinet) is a must, but after that I warmly recommend Albet i Noya. Here you will not gaze at kilometer long wine cellars on multiple floors, but in return enjoy the intimacy of a value-based family business.

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Albet i Noya offers tours in English, Catalan and Spanish. The house is located in Sant Pau d'Ordal (Subirats, Alt Penedès) and it is easy to get there by car thanks to map links in the web page in English, which you find here. Thank you Wine Experience for the recommendation.

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Find here an interview in Spanish with one of the owners, Josep Maria Albet i Noya.

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